Minister orders police to shoot to kill

Minister orders police to shoot to kill

MAFETENG – POLICE should be ready to use deadly force against famo gang members known for perpetrating violence, a cabinet minister has said.
Temeki Tšolo, who is MP for Mafeteng and also acting Tourism Minister, said the police should not hesitate to shoot and should “keep their guns cocked.”
He was speaking at Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s public gathering in Mafeteng last week.

“Police, cock your guns. Whoever does not understand this will be collected lying down,” Tšolo said. He said this after Thabane re-united feared gang leaders Rethabile Mokete and Sarele Sello, whose soured relations led to a killing spree between members of their gangs during the past two months.

The killings reached their peak about two weeks ago when Sello’s right-hand man, Thulo Motau, was attacked in Mafeteng by two men who are believed by some to be members of Mosotho Chakela’s Terene gang . Motau escaped unharmed. He was arrested together with one of his attackers and they are now awaiting trial in custody, facing charges of attempted murder and illegal possession of firearms. A day after the incident, Motau’s taxi was attacked and a helper of his driver was shot dead.

The police responded to the gun reports and found two men attacking Motau’s driver and helper. Cops shot dead one man while his accomplice was arrested. On the same night, Chakela’s shop was attacked in Bloemfontein and his workers were injured. Chakela, who told thepost that he was the target, was not present at the shop.

On the following night, members of Chakela’s gang were attacked at a stokvel in Soweto, where three of them died.
Tšolo said the gang killings have to stop. Prime Minister Thabane warned the gangsters that they faced retribution if they continued with their wars.

“We are all men, although we do not wear blankets. I want to tell you that you are not the only men,” Thabane said. Thabane appealed to Mafeteng people to put an abrupt end to the killings.
He appealed to the famo artists to focus on their music.

“We play and dance to your music,” he said, asking the artists to derive satisfaction from their music. Thabane said his government is going to crackdown on corruption, killings and possession of illegal weapons. He said institutions which are entrusted to deal with crimes in the country will be empowered to do their job, adding that fostering harmony amongst security agencies was one of his government’s top priorities.

Thabane accused the previous government for causing disunity among security institutions, saying the situation nearly led the country into a war-zone and bloodbath.
He said the military is helping stop crime by handing over to police soldiers suspected of murders.
Meanwhile, Thabane told the same gathering that the case of the late army commander Lieutenant General Khoantle Mootšomotšo is before the Court Martial, while Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao’s case is before the High Court. The rest of the cases are awaiting foreign judges, he said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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